Clinical Pilates For Pre And Post Natal
Pre And Post Natal Clinical Pilates
Congratulations on your news! At Beyond, we love supporting our expectant mothers and their families during this exciting time in the Melbourne and Ocean Grove areas.
Now you are pregnant you probably have a list of questions, concerns and for some of us, worries! We would love to help you understand a bit more about exercise & fitness during pregnancy. We work with many pregnant women to help develop a safe and effective exercise regime to help support them during this time and after birth.
When it comes to pregnancy and exercise we always ask “what type of exercise were you already doing prior to conception?”. This generally can help us identify what level and intensity of exercise you should aim to participate in during your pregnancy. The Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have produced guidelines that help us shape the type of exercise routine you should aim for during your pregnancy and helps consider any contraindications that need to be considered.
At Beyond we run Prenatal Pilates classes and private Exercise Physiology sessions that are utilized by our prenatal clients to help support their fitness and exercise needs during pregnancy and after birth.
So, we would love to answer some of your questions in regards to prenatal pilates and how this type of exercise may fit in with your pre and postnatal exercise routine.
What is prenatal pilates?
Prenatal Pilates is suitable for all expectant mothers, no matter what level of fitness you are at. You will work with our physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, and osteopaths to develop core strength, stability, posture, and breathing techniques that are specific to pregnancy.
Prenatal Pilates is designed to help you prepare for labour and delivery, as well as recover from the stress of pregnancy and childbirth. By using a combination of breathing techniques, core strengthening, and stretching you can gain the strength and flexibility you need to help you and your growing baby cope with the physical changes of pregnancy. There have also been studies that show participating in prenatal pilates can reduce the fear of childbirth.
Prenatal Pilates is a full-body workout that can help women with some of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy, with some research showing pilates as an important exercise for managing pain if experienced in the third trimester.
At Beyond our Prenatal Pilates is not a cookie-cutter approach to prenatal care. We look at each pregnant woman individually, their previous exercise history, if there are any pre-existing muscular or joint issues, and if there are any specific concerns or requirements for their pregnancy.
By writing a specific program tailored to the pregnant woman we work through the trimesters to strengthen the muscles that will support the expectant mother and growing baby. This may include abdominal exercises, pelvic floor activation exercise, hip, pelvic, and general posture strengthening.
Prenatal Pilates is taught by one of our qualified allied health practitioners whereby they teach you prenatal pilates using Pilates equipment; reformer, wunda chair, trapeze table, and other fun bits of equipment. Utilizing spring-loaded resistance, these pieces of equipment give you a great feeling of strength and stretch at the same time.
A lot of our mum’s to be are unsure if yoga or pilates will suit them during this time. It is important to note that they are different types of exercise. Prenatal pilates focuses more on strengthening whereas Yoga focuses more on stretching.
How do I begin prenatal pilates?
Beginning Prenatal pilates is easy! At Beyond we want to get to know you before you start in a prenatal class! This is really important as we want to make sure we take a thorough medical history, physical and pelvic floor assessment and talk to you about your goals for you during your pregnancy. You will need to book an initial assessment which is a private session with one of our amazing pilates teachers.
Depending on your needs and complexity, we may need to see you for a further follow up session. We leave this up to you and your practitioner to decide.
Once you have had your initial assessments you are now ready to join a small group class!
When you think of exercise and pregnancy often the first thing people think of is ‘pelvic floor exercises’. These can be tricky! We understand that if you have never done this before it can be hard to know if you are doing the right thing.
Our practitioners will assess your pelvic floor using a trans-abdominal ultrasound (ultrasound will be around the belly button region). We will be able to help guide you to do these exercises correctly and make sure you are doing the appropriate amount of pelvic floor exercises. This is important during pregnancy and very much after birth.
Our group classes are run at our Melbourne and Ocean Grove movement studios Monday through to Saturday at times that suit all schedules! And, if you can’t find a time, we have been known to create new classes to make sure we can help all of our clients achieve their goals.
Group classes have a maximum of 4 participants and run 50-60 minutes.
Each class is taught by a qualified and registered allied health practitioner that has further study in pilates and prenatal care.
Our studios are baby-friendly, please feel free to bring your new baby along when it is time for you to resume your pilates classes post-birth.
Our Pilates Instructors
Our Melbourne prenatal pilates and Ocean Grove prenatal pilates based practitioners are all registered, allied health practitioners. They are Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists, Osteopaths, and Myotherapists. Each practitioner has done additional study in prenatal pilates through Polestar Pilates, DMA, Australian Pilates Method, or Breathe Education
Our practitioner’s prenatal clinical interest includes:
- Back pain during pregnancy
- Pelvic instability during pregnancy
- Complex pain during pregnancy
- Pelvic girdle pain
- Pelvic floor weakness
- Intercoastal muscular strain (muscles between the ribs)
- Diastasis recti recovery (abdominal separation post-pregnancy)
- C-section recovery
Our resources for mums and mums to be
Besides being fun, safe, and gentle on your body, prenatal pilates is designed to give you results. And with the right Pilates teacher, you’ll feel great throughout your pregnancy and be able to keep up with your baby’s rapid development in those early months.
Our team loves developing information for expectant mums and new mums. We would love to share our blog posts:
Plus invite you to browse our shop where you can find our postnatal online program for those mum’s that can’t get into the studio once the baby is born.
Is mat Pilates better than Reformer Pilates?
No, mat pilates isn’t better than Reformer Pilates. The reformer provides greater variation and load resistance which may be more beneficial to you during your pregnancy or postnatal period.
What is the difference between reformer pilates, prenatal pilates, and postnatal classes?
Generic reformer classes focus on fitness, strength, and flexibility. Prenatal Pilates & postnatal classes focus on the stage of pregnancy or postpartum you are at to enhance strength, flexibility, or healing depending on what stage in the journey you are at.
Is Pilates reformer safe during early pregnancy?
Yes! Make sure you tell your teacher so they can moderate any exercises to suit you.
When should I stop Pilates when pregnant?
We normally see clients right up to 38-39 weeks gestation, this depends on their comfort & energy levels.
Does prenatal yoga count as exercise?
Prenatal yoga is not cardiovascular exercise, it is a gentle stretching form of exercise.
What week should I start prenatal yoga?
You can start prenatal yoga from the start of your pregnancy.
How often should you do pilates when pregnant?
Ideally, you would aim to do 2 classes per week.